The Ministry of Home Affairs has revealed that over seven thousand people, allegedly stone pelters, miscreants, over ground workers (OGWs), separatists, etc. have been placed under preventive custody since August, 2019.
Of the said persons, 451 are presently under preventive detention, including 396 persons detained under the Public Safety Act (PSA).
The disclosure comes in response to a query raised by MPs Sardar Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa and Tiruchi Siva. They had sought information on (i) the number of political detainees in Kashmir from August, 2019 to February 2020, month-wise; (ii) the number of political detainees still under detention as of February 29, 2020; and (iii) whether they have all been detained under the Public Safety Act (PSA), if so, the dates from which the PSA was invoked against them.
Prominent leaders, social workers, journalists, etc. have been detained in the valley since August 5, 2019, as a resort to clampdown protests against abrogation of the special status of J&K and its bifurcation into two separate UTs.
In his reply dated March 11, Minister of State in the Ministry of Home Affairs, G. Kishan Reddy submitted,
"The Government of Jammu and Kashmir has reported that in order to prevent commission of offences involving breach of peace and tranquility, activities prejudicial to the security of the State and maintenance of public order, cumulatively 7357 persons including stone pelters, miscreants, over ground workers (OGWs), separatists, etc. were taken into preventive custody since August, 2019. Out of these, 451 such persons are presently under preventive detention, which includes 396 persons under Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act (PSA).
Detentions have been made u/s 107 Cr.PC, as also under J&K Public Safety Act, 1978."